Friday, May 30, 2014

Deer and Doe Plantain t-shirt

This is the FREE Plantain t-shirt pattern by French company Deer and Doe, and we highly recommend it! Made up here in The Drapery's 100% organic cotton Australian-made knit, in chocolate.

This pattern ticks all the boxes that I was looking for in a basic winter tee pattern for layering:
- narrow sleeves and fitted upper body (good for under dresses and shirts)
- scooped but not-too-revealing neckline
- a little loose over the hips so it doesn't suffer from that creep-up-to-the-waistline.

The pattern seems very nicely drafted and true to the measurements provided. The instructions are excellent, with plenty of tips for those new to sewing knits, and directions that encourage attention to detail, like 'press with generous steam'. It even has cute little elbow patches (that you can't see in this photo). It's only available as a print-at-home PDF, but that's okay given it's free! And if you only print the actual pattern pieces, it's just 20 pages which is reasonable.

This whole garment can be made on a regular sewing machine using a ballpoint needle and zigzag or stretch stitch. A walking foot is also helpful when sewing knits. I used my overlocker for all the seams but hemmed and topstitched the neckline using a small zigzag.

You can probably see here that I have turned up a deep hem, since the garment was a bit long on me. But taller and/or longer-waisted people may like to use the full length.

If you like the look of Deer and Doe, we have many of their other lovely (printed and beautifully presented) patterns in store. I'm just washing some of our lovely Birch organic cotton knit to make my next Plantain....

Get your Plantain pattern here!

- Jane & Fiona xx

PS - FYI on yardage - I have just been able to easily cut out the size 42 from 1.6m of the Birch knit which is 110cm wide (rather than the 2.25m recommended for that width).

Edited to add: here's my second Plantain! And probably not my last.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Brumby dress!

It's the Year of the Horse! Okay, so I only discovered that after making this dress but don't you deserve some Brumbies in your life, to celebrate 2014?
 FABRIC: Brumby 4, India Ink on Raw, Working Cloth hand-printed cotton/linen by Cloth of Sydney, 140cm wide, $59/m, Oakshott cotton in Mica for pocket backs and binding.

PATTERN: Stylish Dress Book 2, pattern D 'Box Dress' (as seen on cover), made without sleeves, bias bound (turned to inside) at neck and armholes and with added pockets.
We have just ordered more copies of this pattern book so let us know if you would like us to save you a copy when it comes in (should be soon).

Just look at this fabric! The cotton/linen basecloth is full of delicious natural flecks and the print has such a fabulous irregular hand-printed quality.

We have samples of the whole Working Cloth range and you can order any with a 3m minimum. But so you, our lovely customers, could buy smaller amounts, we have ordered in a few prints that you can buy with our regular 20cm minimum. We've chosen designs that we think are great for winter dressmaking and also home decorating items like cushions, or wall art.

Pockets are pretty much essential in my clothing, but I didn't want to interrupt the print on the front of this dress with patch pockets. I also didn't want to add bulk with traditional side-seam pocket bags. So I made these that I'm calling 'inset patch pockets' because I couldn't find any other name for them! 

 Let us know if you'd like a photo tutorial on the construction. It's very simple - just a semi-circle cut into the side of the front at hand-height (shape made by tracing around a saucer), then the edge bound in bias tape. This is backed with a patch shape made by tracing widely around my hand. The curved edge was zigzagged to prevent fraying then the piece pinned on and topstitched on along a line I drew on the front in heat-erasable ink. (Repeat for other side pocket.) The front of the dress including pockets was then treated as just one piece when attaching to the back.
 (pocket view from inside)
Whilst the Cloth fabric is certainly on the higher price end of fabrics we stock, at 140cm wide, this entire dress was made from one metre (plus 25cm of the Oakshott for pockets and bindings). Cloth is a fantastic Australia small business, screen printing by hand with water-based, non-toxic inks on all-natural fibres. These Working Cloth fabrics are a great weight for trans-seasonal garments and winter layering. Choose simple shapes like Japanese patterns, A-line or pleated skirts.


- Jane & Fiona xx